A 12-year-old died due to a cardiac arrest with severe anemia after her lice infestation was left untreated for years. According to WMAZ-TV, Kaitlyn Yozviak from Georgia died on 26th August 2020 due to an indirect result of lice infestation.
Her parents, Mary Katherine Horton and Joey Yozviak, have been charged with murder. Investigators pointed out that the untreated lice problem contributed to her death. Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Ryan Hilton said in court that the girl’s lice infestation was “most severe” at the time of her death. The agent further added that it looked like it had been in a similar state for at least three years.
Hilton then stated that the repeated bites from the lice lowered the girl’s blood iron levels. It eventually caused anemia that later triggered cardiac arrest. Additionally, Kaitlyn’s mother admitted to the officials that her daughter had not bathed for more than a week before her death. The evidence produced by the officers was enough for Judge Brenda Trammell of the Wilkinson County Superior Court to charge the girl’s parents with second-degree murder.
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Besides, the couple was also charged with second-degree child cruelty. Meanwhile, the official cause of death has not been released as the autopsy results are still pending. The trial is yet to go in front of a grand jury. Previously, the investigators found that Kaitlyn had suffered from “excessive physical pain due to medical negligence.”
The reports submitted also stated the unhygienic conditions at the girl’s house. When agents visited the house in August 2020, they found the house was filthy and in disrepair. The furniture in Kaitlyn’s room, her stuffed animals, and even the mattress was covered with vermin. Neighbors told the authorities that they hadn’t seen the young girl play around the house for one and a half to two months.
After the incident was reported, the Georgia Division of Family and Child Service sprung to action. Kaitlyn’s two brothers were removed from the unlivable and filthy house.
Reports from 2008 showed that the DFCS had opened a case against the family around the time Kaitlyn was born. Though she was almost given up for adoption, the family eventually decided to keep her, according to Metro.
After that, the agency only received further details about the family in 2018. The reports at the time indicated that the couple’s house was filled with excessive cats and its bug-infested interiors made it a dangerous place to live in.
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As a result, Kaitlyn was placed under the care of her aunt. But just six days later, she was returned to her parents. Since then, the authorities had no idea about the conditions of the family. The next time they heard from the family was when the girl had passed away.
The death of the girl has sparked conversations online. Many are campaigning for her justice. “In memory and Justice for 12-year-old Kaitlyn Michelle Yozviak, I challenge each of my Facebook friends and everyone in Gordon, Ivey, and Wilkinson county, to change their profile photo to this beautiful little girl, that did not get to grow up. It breaks my heart to know a child has gone through hell. Rest in peace baby girl,” wrote one user named Alicia Lilly Etheridge Floyd on Facebook. Many responded to the posts. One wrote, “Such a senseless death! Praying for all of those that loved and adored Kaitlyn. Rest In Peace sweet girl.”